The ballet will present its 40th annual performance of the “Nutcracker” later this week, and tickets are still available. The performances are made possible with the help of area sponsors like Eastman Chemical Company, Eastman Recreation Club, WKPT TV-AM, WTFM and Hampton Inn.
“Each year dancers from all over the area come to the annual audition for ‘The Nutcracker,’” a press release stated. “This year our production will have a cast of over 170 dancers and actors from six different regional schools, along with many adult community leaders and business people.”
Evening performances for the public will be held on Dec. 13 and Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Eastman’s Toy F. Reid Employee Center Theatre. The audience will experience a snowstorm, see a forest magically appear and watch a tree grow from 10 feet to 30 feet, all inside the theatre.
This year, Christmas will come a bit early for 4,500 area school children, who will enjoy morning shows at the same location on Dec. 12 and 13 at 9:30 a.m. These special performances will be presented free of charge to all area students and teachers, with additional seating available for the public at a nominal fee.
Tickets for the evening performances are now on sale at Centre for the Performing Arts, Holloway Studio and Eastman’s Toy F. Reid Employee Center. Reserved seating will be sold for the orchestra floor of the theater, while the balcony tickets are festival seating. If still available, tickets may be purchased at the door.
Who will perform?
Coming to Kingsport will be Lieneke Matte and Brian Murphy, who are both currently dancing with Verb Ballet. Matte, a New York City native, has danced with many companies across the U.S. and abroad and has appeared in the documentary “No Dominion.” Matte will be dancing the role of Sugar Plum for Intercity Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” this year.
Murphy has danced with Ohio Ballet, Ground Works Dance Theater, Cleveland Ballet, San Jose Ballet, Nashville Ballet and Ballet Met, among others. He will be dancing the role of Coffee (Arabian), with Intercity Ballet’s own Hannah Brickey, as well as Cavalier with Sugar Plum.
Also returning this year is Gregory Brown, who danced with the Metropolitan Opera but is busy as an actor in New York and Los Angeles this season. Brown has danced with Houston Ballet II, Texas Ballet Theater, Ballet X and Radio City’s Christmas Spectacular.
Brown will be performing the role of Snow Prince, with the Intercity Ballet’s own Sara Stewart as Snow Queen. Stewart is a student at Dobyns-Bennett High School and helps teach contemporary class at Centre for the Performing Arts Studios.
Local dancers giving their time and talent include Phil Clemons, dancing the role of The Nutcracker, with Brandon Templeton as Brigidier and Nicholas. Abigail Golden and Hannah Smith will be sharing the role of Clara, with Savanah Lane and Abby Hathaway as understudies.
Jonathan Smith will be dancing the role of Fritz, with Tanner Mims as understudy. The role of Mechanical Doll will be danced by Jessica Gallimore, and the role of Devil Doll will be danced by Amaya Wolfe and Ella Halliburton.
Dew Drop Fairies will be Annabella Mowell, Ella Halliburton and Elizabeth Kiser. The role of Tree Fairy will be danced by Taylor Hubbard, the current Miss Kingsport. Dancing the role of Reed Pipes will be Jessica Gallimore, Elizabeth Kiser and Annabella Mowell.
The role of Spanish will be danced by Mollie Kate Blalock, and Clara's parents will be danced by Jeff Luethke and Kristen Looney. The role of Grandfather will be danced by Darrell Duncan. Daniel Ratcliff will perform the role of the ever-popular Rat King and will be adding the role of Mother Ginger.
Mike McGinn will once again reprise his role of Uncle Drosselmeyer. The role of Trepak will be danced by Anna Allen, Olivia Doran, Kaylie Joyner, Ava Sanders, Mia Sanders and Bailey Utsman. Dancing the role of Chinese will be Garce Blevins, Dakota Buchingham and Phil Clemons.
For more information about Intercity Ballet Theatre and “The Nutcracker” school performances, public performances or ticket sales, visit www.intercityballet.org or call (423) 246-2199.